Fabio Iemmi – The colour of the spirit at the Church of Saints Charles and Agatha in Reggio Emilia

Opus in Artem is pleased to present the solo show “The colour of the spirit” by Fabio Iemmi on Artsy. The show is opened to the public at the Church of Saints Charles and Agatha in Reggio Emilia until 23 October 2022, on Artsy available until 25 November 2022.

As part of the project ‘Counterpoint – In Individual Form’, promoted by Flag No Flags Contemporary Art at the Church of Saints Charles and Agatha in Reggio Emilia to involve different voices as Beppe Villa, Fabio Iemmi, Nazzarena Poli Maramotti and Manuel Portioli, in a sort of counterpoint, Fabio Iemmi’s exhibition ‘The Colour of the Spirit’ will be held from 7 to 23 October.

“…it is the immanence of the things exhibited that lets their meaning precipitate into a paradigm that is almost impossible to resolve, that is, that reveals their contradiction, placing on the same level existential events linked by a sidereal distance”. (Luciano Serchia, “Elegy of Matter”, 2009).

“Iemmi places the balance between earth and sky precisely in the drafting of the intimate essence of matter, almost scientifically proposing it by geological layers, temporal strips of intensity between darkness and light, of ambivalent perspective depth”. (Paolo Zermani, “Evocations”, 2011).

“Because it is fatal that, at all latitudes, the sacred presents itself through the geometry of decorative patterns: they are par excellence the form of continuity, of transcendence, of order that spreads to all manifestations of the existing, from the micro to the macrocosm”. (Enrico Maria Davoli, ‘Muri miracolati’, 2015).

Fabio Iemmi’s artistic research has its roots in matter. His research work on the skin of architecture constitutes an important corpus in his modes of expression. Lime, inert materials, pigments, natural oxidants and surface treatments characterise his mobile works or the apparatuses he creates directly on wall partitions. Iemmi’s painting has an abstract matrix, although recognisable codes qualify some pictorial cycles.

He prefers fresco and plaster painting, and his works require technical devices and specific knowledge in order to be effective over time. The space-time-matter relationship and the aesthetics inherent in the material itself are guidelines for his artistic work. Works that change, just as works on walls change. Alkaline, basic surfaces, mineral pigments, metals, natural earths, oxidants, hard stones are affected by the environmental context and the passage of time. He looms textile works from his material works.

Weaving modes are possible where context, scaffolding, yarns can be governed. He prefers the jacquard technique where front and back are translated into two returns of equivalent intensity. Overcoming the antinomy between historical techniques and contemporary modes, his latest works are directly related to the stone repertoire. The history of painting and wall techniques bear witness to this. Malachite, azurite, lapis lazuli, carnelian, onyx, fossil coral… all contribute to the wonder of colour and the vibration of matter in the presence of natural or artificial light.

Through research that began around the year 2001, he finds blocks of semi-precious stones or waste material from the processing of semi-precious stones, which he grinds to the size of aggregates with different grain sizes using artisanal mills. Used in purity or as aggregates, they constitute the guiding imprint of his latest pictorial and wall works.

Fabio Iemmi, covering specific roles in European projects and paths linked to the criteria of Universal Accessibility and the use of cultural heritage for all, has created olfactory, tactile and chromatic environments, not only aimed at an intrinsic aesthetic to the quality of the artefacts created, but true guides to multi-sensorial experiences, the epigones of which can be considered the “Vietato non toccare” (“Forbidden not to touch” – UNISI) and “Archaeology Without Barriers” (EU) projects.

A sort of thaumaturgy of colour and crystals that belongs, just a little and for those who know how to grasp it, to the secret soul of his works.

In a recent book, Roberto Calasso speaks of a current unmentionable, of an elusive world, of an age of insubstantiality, perhaps the mirror of a ruthless and pressing cultural industry dominated by the laws of production. In the refutation of the excesses of materialism, few languages like that of minimal sculpture supported by ideals of simplicity and essentiality – often expressed in a harmonious reiteration – have appeared as effective. As is the care of a pictorial sign addressed to the themes of form and formlessness, of naturalistic cues and the symbolic function of the work’s elements.

It is along these paths that renewed spaces seem to open up to individual initiative, to the generous utopia of personal research, to the different formal solutions that the exhibition project of Flag No Flags Contemporary Art composes in a sort of counterpoint, involving the different voices in a close, tight, critically edifying dialogue, which seems to find its pivot and solicitation in a clear statement by Nicolas Bourriaud: “The battle for modernity continues by renewing perceptive, experimental, critical and participatory models, no longer in the preparation or annunciation of the future world, but in the elaboration of unseen possible universes”.